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Lean Enterprise Methods for Service Industries: By Brian Lean November 2005

It is interesting as well as promising to see the growing number of service industry business leaders seeking the benefits of  lean methods. The benefits I am referring to are as follows:

       Reduces lead time by 90%
       Doubles labor productivity
       Reduces throughput time by 90%
       Improves quality by 85%
       Reduces inventory by 90%
       Reduces WIP by 90%
       Reduces defects/scrap by 50%
       Reduces space utilization by 50%1

These benefits are not the "exception". These are realistic possibilities with a complete transformation and commitment to lean processes. Of course it will vary from one organization to the next but not from one industry to the next. These benefits are equally possible in, for example, construction, food service, healthcare, airlines...(the list goes on) as in manufacturing.

Quality, customer satisfaction, productivity, efficiency, and continuous improvement are key issues in any industry. This is, in fact, the underlying focus of lean methodology. Lean is defined by nearly all reputable lean specialists as follows:

Lean methodology is the endless pursuit of eliminating waste while giving customers exactly what they want, exactly when they need it, and at a price they are willing to pay.

You will notice there are no references to any specific industry. Regardless of industry these methods and practices are equally beneficial in any industry.

If you are interested in taking advantage of lean concepts in your organization please contact us.

1Windle, J.(2004) Leadership for Lean Enterprise: Readings & References 1st Edition. West Lafayette, IN

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